Recently, I’ve come across 2 studies which show that people have lost weight without adding vigorous exercise or changing their eating habits. In this blog post, we will explore what lifestyle change has been proven to bring about this unexpected weight loss. The addition of adding a Restorative Yoga class once or twice a week has a positive impact in many ways, but weight loss (and fat loss) was a surprise to me!
In Restorative Yoga, participants use props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks to support their bodies in relaxing poses and hold these poses for 5 to 15 minutes. These positions are designed to allow the body to completely relax and rest, while helping people increase flexibility. This deep rest supports a healthy immune function and healing in all systems of the body.
In one study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, 2 groups of people were followed for 48 weeks. One group performed a simple stretching routine, the other participated in Restorative yoga. The results showed that both groups lost weight but the Restorative Yoga group lost almost twice as much weight and interestingly, lost 2.5 times the amount of subcutaneous fat (abdominal fat) as the group that did the stretching. Researchers were not able to explain why but theorize that it could be the reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone. Higher levels of cortisol contribute to weight gain especially as belly fat. Yoga is known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This study is important too for encouraging those with limited mobility because of weight or other factors who may not be able to participate in more rigorous forms of movement to try Restorative Yoga.
At Rise, we love pairing our Restorative yoga classes with sound healing or Reiki to amplify the relaxing and healing experience. Currently, we have several Restorative yoga classes on our schedule each week. There is Restorative Rest with Sound Balancing, Restorative Flow with Reiki, Deep Release with Healing Sound, and Restorative Rest. Check out the schedule. Join us for a class!